2016: The year a Russian embassy responded to cyber attack sanctions with a duck tweet

The United States Thursday said it was responding to possible Russian interference in the elections with sanctions.

Here's another reminder we're all still figuring out exactly how to responsibly use the internet. This was the tweet from an official Russian diplomatic account in response to U.S. sanctions against Russia over cyber attack claims.

The tweet – a jab at the president being a "lame duck" – came from the UK's Russian Embassy on Thursday afternoon. It was sent out shortly after the White House and other federal agencies took a number of steps to retaliate against Russia over interference in the U.S. elections process.

Back up: What is this all about?

All of this goes back to the election, and the CIA and FBI's belief that Russia interfered in the process to try to get Donald Trump elected, as the Washington Post reported, including hacking into the Democratic National Committee's emails. (The president-elect hasgenerallydismissed those claims as Democrats being sore losers, though his apparent ties to Vladimir Putin have raised a lot of eyebrows.)

The United States took official steps Thursday to respond to those interference findings. Included in those steps:

The New York Times called all the measures together "the strongest American response ever taken to a state-sponsored cyberattack aimed at the United States."

The Department of Homeland Security says the activity has been directed by Russian intelligence, which has been targeting America for a decade now.

"These cyber operations have included spearphishing, campaigns targeting government organizations, critical infrastructure, think tanks, universities, political organizations, and corporations; theft of information from these organizations; and the recent public release of some of this stolen information," the department wrote.

The State Department says the Russian government has been exceedingly antagonizing in the past year too – harassing and assaulting U.S. personnel in the country, and slowing down (or stopping) attempts by the U.S. to grow its diplomatic efforts there.

President Barack Obama also said his administration will be giving lawmakers a report soon detailing the findings of the investigation into Russia's possible involvement. You can also read this report from Homeland Security and the FBI about how some of the attacks were perpetrated.

The response

Russia promised to respond to any hostile action by the U.S, CNN reports, and one official also said the country would take similar steps with American diplomats. The Russian Embassy of the United States tweeted a spokesperson said there will be specific announcements tomorrow, while another called the sanctions groundless and illegal.

Update: Putin said Friday that Russia will not kick out U.S. diplomats in his country, CNN reports, calling such a move "irresponsible diplomacy." He also said he'd work to rebuild U.S.-Russia relations after Trump gets into office.

Trump hasn't said anything as of Thursday afternoon. But Wednesday, when told of the likely coming action by the White House, he said:

"I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind, the security we need."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar called the U.S. response "the right thing to do," and has more thoughts in a statement on her website. She also noted she's in the Baltic region right now with two Republican senators, emphasizing their support for NATO.

Rep. Betty McCollum in an email statement was very in support of the measures, and said Trump should "demand a fully transparent Congressional investigation into this hacking, and maintain strong pressure on Russia's government."

Sen. John McCain called the sanctions "long overdue," but still a small price.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said the same, though called it an "appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia," Reuters reports.

Next Up

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

Minnesota Department of Health files lawsuit against Alibi Drinkery

The Lakeville bar has been in the news for defying orders.

Iron Tap snowmobile delivery

This MN restaurant will deliver to your ice house... on a snowmobile

Just in case you work up an appetite fishing on Lake Waconia.

Klobuchar and Trump

Klobuchar reacts to report Trump plotted against his attorney general

The NYT story alleges further tactics to overturn the election.

snow, plow

Snowy Saturday: Here's how much snow is forecast in Minnesota

Snow will reach the metro area by the early afternoon.

Cam Talbot

Wild improve to 4-1 with victory over Dubnyk, Sharks

The 4-1 win gives the Wild four victories in five games to start the season.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Daughter of MN Supreme Court Justice, Allina Health CEO found dead in Iowa

The 21-year-old was found dead in the parking lot of a sorority, according to police.

Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 8.42.40 PM

Federal charges: MN marijuana lobbyist threatened U.S. representative

"I want you to be as scared as possible," the voicemail allegedly says.

coronavirus, masks, covid-19

Wisconsin Republicans aim to end governor's mask mandate

They've introduced a resolution to remove the governor's emergency powers.

Ted Schweich

Community group hopes to install billboard to get neighbor a kidney

A group called "Team Ted" aims to raise $5,000 to find their friend a kidney donor.

Andrew Palmer

Charges: Coach raped teenage girl on Minnesota basketball team

The 33-year-old head coach has been charged in connection to the alleged crimes.


Report of Russian cyberattack days before election has Klobuchar concerned

A leaked NSA document published by The Intercept says Russian intelligence launched a cyberattack days before the election.

The next day: Hillary Clinton speaks about the results

Even though Donald Trump is headed for the presidency, there are a number of Minnesota races that weren't called Tuesday night.

The FBI says it will review emails in Clinton case it didn't know about before

The FBI is going to be looking at more Hillary Clinton emails.

Klobuchar asks what steps were taken to protect 2016 election from cyber threats

Sen. Amy Klobuchar – with 25 other supporters in the Senate – wants a detailed explanation.

Live updates: Checking in on Election Day

Checking in on Minnesota – and the country – as Election Days rolls on.

What's Joe Biden doing in Duluth? Trying to help a Democrat in a close race

The race in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District was very tight in 2014.

Beyond the headlines: 5 takeaways from the final presidential debate

Digging deeper than the "nasty woman" quote and who "won."

Watch: Al Franken loses his mind while quizzing Facebook lawyer about Russian ads

The senator shouted at Facebook's lawyer about ads bought with Russian roubles.